White House announces $500 million for microbiome research

Private sector groups joined the Obama administration in pledging $500 million for "the integrated study of microbiomes across different ecosystems." Microbiomes, communities of micro-organisms that live on or in people, plants, soil, oceans and the atmosphere, maintain healthy functioning of diverse ecosystems and influence human health, climate change and food security, said the White House science office.

NRCS trains farmers to protect the microbes in their soil

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is on a nationwide mission to train farmers to protect the microorganisms in soil—and their relationship to crops— instead of destroying them with fertilizer and chemical sprays, says an Orion Magazine story produced with the Food and Environment Reporting Network.